By Mokun Njouny Nelson
Some angry party militants of the opposition SDF party have called on their long time Chairman John Fru Ndi to resign. Despite promising to do so, Fru Ndi yesterday April 14th lost the 7 senate seats that were up for grabs in his North western Stronghold. He lost to his long time political rival and former Prime Minister Simon Achidi Achu. Mr Achu stood the elections on behalf of the ruling CPDM party.
By this failure, John Fru Ndi has lost his home base and some angry party militants are now calling for him to resign. Fru Ndi has been party Chairman of the SDF since it’s creation 23 years ago to end the one party dictatorship of incumbent president Paul Biya.
Though the SDF Chairman is yet to make a statement after the elections, it was evident that the CPDM will win in the North West Region since they had more councilors than the SDF on the Electoral College. To win the senate seats of the region, CPDM militants had to vote against their own party and very few did so yesterday. Their protest votes against their own party were not enough to help John Fru Ndi Win.
Fru Ndi betrayed
Iroko learnt in a midnight deal with the CPDM, John Fru Ndi and the SDF were promised a number of seats amongst the thirty President Paul Biya (in power for the last thirty year) will appoint to complete the 100 man new house of Senate. Only Councilors voted in yesterday’s elections and they had to vote for only 70 senators.
When to the surprise of everyone Mr Biya summoned the electoral college of councilors, Fru Ndi initially refused to take part on the grounds that the present councilors were illegal since their mandates expired last year. Their mandates were only extended by presidential decree.
It was also thought that as part of the secretive deal, Mr Biya would surrender the North West to the SDF. This may have convinced the Chairman to be part of the elections.
According to Gerard Kuissu, National Coordinator of Article 53, a human rights organization, even under such circumstances, Fru Ndi would not have accepted to be part of the elections, knowing well that Mr Biya is a “political Maradona” who likes dribbling his opponents.
The CPDM currently controls 336 of the 360 municipal councils in country and has 9,032 of the country’s 10,636 municipal councilors.
It thus had all the chances to win. While waiting for the official results that would be proclaimed by the Supreme Court sitting in place of the yet to be created Constitutional Council, return results so far indicate that it has won in all eight (8) Regions that it presented candidates.
Initial reports indicate the SDF might have won all the senate seats in the West and Adamawa Regions where the CPDM lists were disqualified both by the country’s electoral watchdog, Elections Cameroon, ELECAM and the Supreme Court.
This means that for now only the CPDM and SDF would be represented in the senate. But given that the president has the powers to appoint 30 others, there are speculations that he would appoint from both the civil society and other political parties.